If there’s any decision about what to read that requires careful thought, extensive research, and attention to detail, it’s the decision what to read on an airplane. Think about it: you’re trapped, you’re uncomfortable, you have no escape… except your carefully considered selection of reading material. Thanks to frequent air travel in the last six years, including one trip to Europe and two trips to Hong Kong, plus countless others across U.S., I’ve developed a master list. You must read these. And then you must read them again on another trip because they’re that good. Note: these books have all been thoroughly tested on flights no less than five hours in duration. Warning: do not read unless you’re comfortable laughing until you cry/hoot/explode in front of total strangers. (I save my “fun” reading for airplanes, it seems.)
- Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture (2012) by Andy Cohen. I am a huge Bravo fan and a huge Andy Cohen fan. Most Talkative covers Andy’s Susan Lucci obsession, coming out, and the early days of the Real Housewives franchise. Best bit: when Andy convinces his mother that he’s convinced he’s Shawnee, not Jewish.
- The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year (2014). More Andy. I don’t know much about being best friends with Sarah Jessica Parker and Anderson Cooper, but from what Andy says, I bet I’d be just darling at it.
- Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office (2006) and other Jen Lancaster memoirs. I love Jen’s honesty, and, let’s face it, ability to get herself into–and out of–impossible situations. I think we could be friends. Bonus: if you like one of her books, there’s a slew more to follow! Ideal for long trips.
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (2012) by Jenny Lawson. As good as the hype. Plus, there’s a giant metal chicken named Beyonce. And she has a blog.
What not to read on an airplane: a) anything that’s been assigned to you or is required, b) anything free from Kindle.